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Memorial, UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine to offer free baseline testing to 'Concussion' attendees

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Tue, Dec 22nd 2015 10:45 am

Athletes age 12-30 with ticket stub to test free; others to receive 50% discount

The Niagara Region's leader in sports medicine and concussion management is making a special offer to athletes to celebrate the release of the Will Smith blockbuster movie "Concussion."

From Dec. 28 to Jan. 8, athletes between the ages of 12 and 30 will be offered a $20 ImPACT baseline concussion screening for just $10 at UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine's Summit Healthplex office, 6934 Williams Road, Niagara Falls.

The office is a joint venture with Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center's sports medicine/athletic training division.

"If they bring in a ticket stub from the movie 'Concussion,' we'll do the screening for free," Memorial Sports Medicine Director Tony Surace said.

"Concussion" is a dramatic screen narrative of the life of Dr. Bennett Omalu, the neuropathologist credited with discovering chronic traumatic encephalopathy, better known as CTE. A condition found in autopsies of some retired athletes, CTE is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain sometimes found in hockey players, boxers, football players and others who have a history of repetitive brain trauma, including concussions.

Brain degeneration caused by CTE can lead to impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression and eventually progressive dementia. Although the NFL initially discredited Omalu's findings regarding CTE, the league has since taken measures to try to prevent it.

"The growing controversies regarding concussions in football have led to increased awareness and responsiveness of coaches, parents and athletes alike," said Scott Darling, M.D., a primary care sports physician and concussion specialist at the Summit Healthplex. "On the professional level, the NFL has made rule changes in an attempt to protect players. There is now an 'injury spotter' in the viewing booth at every game empowered to stop play and call a medical timeout if a concussion is suspected on the field."

Research is being performed by UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine and the UB Concussion Management Clinic in Niagara to study the effects of concussions, including more accurate ways to identify them, and to ascertain if there safer and faster methods of returning athletes to competition. The sports medicine office at the Summit Healthplex is a participant in that research.

ImPACT, the industry leader in concussion management, promotes the highest level of care and a safe return to play for athletes ages 10 and up at all levels (from recreational to professional).

ImPACT baseline testing helps take the guesswork out of determining when it's safe for an athlete to return to play. It measures an athlete's memory, attention and concentration, problem-solving ability and processing speed to determine the level of function prior to any brain injury. If an athlete later sustains a head injury, follow-up testing helps determine when he or she has returned to that baseline level of function.

"Patients of ours who have suffered concussions will tell you $20 for ImPACT testing is a tremendous investment in an athlete's health," Surace said. "Getting it done for $10 or less is a best buy. We hope athletes and their parents will take us up on the offer."

To schedule a baseline concussion screening, call 716-298-5903.

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